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How We Met Entry #3

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Alex Fayle is the author of the third entry of the Contest and I am so happy he shared his story.

Alex is the writer of the blog Someday Syndrome and a published novelist. His blog is about how he gave up his “I’ll do it Someday” attitude and started living his dream and making it come true.

On his About page Alex says:

You see, when I was twelve years old, I made a decision to live in Europe and write fiction. So off my soul went to find that dream, while I went to school, got a job, and bought a house in the city.
And so my soul got lost on the Someday Sea, waiting for me to catch up to it.
Then one day, I woke up to the ache I felt where my soul should have been. So, I walked away from everything: from a budding career as a Professional Organizer and as President of Professional Organizers in Canada, from my house, my cats, my friend and from my family – all to go find my missing soul
I found it, as well as my writing dream and love in northern Spain, where I now write for a living, as I always wanted to.

I always find good information and insight on Alex’s Blog and am encouraged that he writes and makes a living.

Without further introduction here is Alex’s entry:

Loving Myself, Loving Raul

My story back when I was twelve-years-old. I had decided I was going to live in southern Europe and write. It always felt wrong that I was unilingual and as much as I enjoyed snow, winters weren’t my thing.

I did the whole school, job, house and dating on and off thing, but never felt secure about myself. How could I when I was denying myself my real dream of being a writer? I was often sad and insecure about everything in my life, especially in my relationships.

Fast forward to my mid-30s. I had started my own business and owned a home for nearly a decade. And yet I still wasn’t happy and didn’t trust others a whole lot.

Then in May 2006 a friend decided to leave Canada for a round-the-world trip and I expressed my envy. She asked me what I really wanted to do – with a little push and the help of some great Zinfandel I admitted my French writing dream and she said: “So why aren’t you?”

I couldn’t answer her. And because I couldn’t answer her, I realized there was no reason.

Within two weeks the house was on the market and mid-August 2006 I was on the plane to a small village in SW France where a distant cousin lived. During the eight months I lived there, for the first time in my life I felt really confident and happy. I wrote a novel and discovered myself.

I had spent New Years in Barcelona where I feel in love with Spain, so when my lease was up in France I moved to Spain traveling around organic farms doing work in exchange for room and board. In June 2007 while deciding whether to go to Bilbao or San Sebastian to celebrate Toronto’s Gay Pride Day I started chatting online with a guy, called Raul, from San Sebastian and he said that the city was having a Pride Party I should check out.

I almost didn’t go because the road out of the village was scary at night, but in the end I let Raul convince me. I arrived and he was waiting in the entrance area. Our eyes met and locked. I felt a thunk in my chest and knew that Cupid had just struck. I spoke next to no Spanish and he very little English, but it didn’t matter. We had a different type of connection happening.

The next morning, Raul complained about how friends had backed out of going to EuroPride in Madrid the next weekend. I took a BIG breath and invited myself along. He freaked a bit and obviously thought I was crazy but then the next day sent me a text saying “my friends say you can stay there too.”

By the end of that weekend we were deeply in love and I moved to San Sebastian four months later. After falling in love with myself, I had finally let someone else love me too.

Alex’s book can be purchased on the Someday Syndrome website!

A Modern Fairy Tale

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Urban Panther’s submission to the How We Met writing contest was actually the first to arrive in the email box and it brought me great hope and relief!

Elizabeth has a delightful and poignant writing style and I look forward to her weekly short stories on her blog site. Her essay was a true winner following all the criteria and then introducing the reader to internet introductions.

On her About page Elizabeth shares:
The Urban Panther is a Business Architect by day and a Writer by night. She lives in Quebec, Canada, with her beloved Urbane Lion. She’s English and he’s French, so life is never dull!
The Lair is like a virtual kitchen table. Grab a beverage of your choice, pull up a chair, and join in the discussions. Sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious, but always thoughtful and thought provoking.

Without further hesitation here is her magical writing:

A Modern Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a woman in her forties, who had left a long term relationship.

She was doing the online dating thing, and while she had met some very nice men, none of them really clicked for her. And growing weary of this, she determined she was quite happy being alone.

Being content to not settle on just anybody as a life partner, she wrote a very detailed list of the qualities she wanted in a man. And for good measure, she threw in the fact that he must own a boat.

Once upon a time there was a man in his forties, who had left a long term relationship.

He was doing the online dating thing, and while he had met some very nice women, none of them really clicked for him. And growing weary of this, he determined he was quite happy being alone.

Being content to not settle on just anybody as a life partner, he wrote a very detailed list of the qualities he wanted in a woman. And for good measure, he threw in the fact that she must play the piano.

One day, the woman met the man through an online dating site. They chatted, and were both gratified to discover that neither wanted to rehash their pasts, as is so common with online daters. Instead, they talked about food and vintage cars.

After a week of chatting, the man brazenly invited himself to a party the woman was attending. The woman boldly told him to come along.

And she went down to the lobby of her apartment to wait for his arrival.

As the man came up the steps to the front door, the woman burst into a huge smile. For she instantly recognized the man from her list.

Looking at the woman through the front door, the man burst into a huge smile. For he instantly recognized the woman from his list.

And the more they spent time together, the more they realized that every quality on their lists was met.

And to this day, the man and the woman enjoy many tranquil hours on their boat.

And to this day, the man and the woman enjoy many lyrical moments by the piano.

And they are truly happy, for they knew what they wanted, and they found it.

The End

Rules and Dates for the 5 Writing Contests

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Writing Contest

All of the Writing Contests are based on relationship events. Each Contest will have a prize and will be judged by different groups of judges. The stories must be true, but each writer is allowed to submit a story for each contest, embellish the story with creativity and/or humor. The writer does not have to be one of the persons in the relationship; the writer is the primary storyteller.

Contests and due dates:

  1. How We Met – Must be submitted by May 15th, 2009
  2. The Ceremony and the Celebration – Due date May 15th, 2009
  3. The Divorce Story – Due Date June 1, 2009
  4. Our Secret for Staying Together. (This is about folks who have been together for more than 25 years.) – Due Date June 15, 2009
  5. Why Not Live in Sin: are Marriages and Civil Unions relevant? – Due date July1,2009


  • Entries must be 500 words or less.
  • All entries must be submitted by the date posted for that contest.
  • All entries should be submitted to workshops@patriciaswisdom.com.
  • Submission of a story to the above address means that you consent to publication on this blog.
  • All final entries must include signed permission to use the story, and authors will be given credit for the submission. Valid entries must therefore contain an email address where you can be contacted directly.
  • Entries must be true stories, but as a writer one may write someone else’s story as an entry.
  • Only one submission for each contest will be allowed for each writer.

The Prize:
There will be $50.00 (US dollars) for the winning entry for each of the contests. That means $250 total in prize money.The top submissions and as many honorable mentions as possible will be posted on Patricia’s Wisdom.

The Judges:
Judges will be looking at writing style, beauty, creativity, humor, and the communication expressed with clarity and insight. There will be 3 judges for each contest to pick the winner. For Contest #1, they include a Unitarian Minister, a counselor and Poet, and a writer friend. Many of the entries will be used in the workbook I am writing.

All of the writing contests will be completed by August 15, 2009.

I am not looking for stories about how emotionally disturbed the bride was or how the ceremony turned into a food fight with the cake. Rather, I am looking at loving, respectful relationships and how they express themselves.
I am looking forward to reading all the entries and am thinking that this will be a fun experience and reveal some very fine writing.

So here goes…

Sparkling Tour with Bubbly Celebrations in Mind

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008 in the USA, I was on tour and I decided on the best mode of celebration for my big event in 2009.

It all started with a 20 hour train ride to San Francisco.  I got on board the Amtrak Pacific Coast train service to San Francisco about noon.  I found my sleeper car and the Porter came by to let me know that I was signed up for lunch in an hour and a half.  This was news to me because I had carefully packed a bag of food for the ride and now found out my ticket included 6 full meals in the dining car.

A few minutes later the Porter returned with a split of champagne and a lovely orange for me to enjoy while I settled in and waited for lunch.

The Champagne kept on coming the whole week of my tour!

I did several walking tours of the city and discovered fine food, farmer’s markets, and the amazing experiences of the Mission District, Chinatown, the Embarcadero, the tourist traps and Union Square’s Glitz.  At nearly every stop and start, there was Champagne.

I was given a tour of Wine Country by my oldest child.  It was a lovely coach bus tour with lots of other people.  I truly enjoyed meeting the folks from Scotland who were married “last Thursday” in San Diego and were enjoying their honeymoon tour after a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon –“Oh! It is just the best way to experience the whole spectacular.”

Thank you!  Thank you! To my kiddo for the great experience and fun day.

My Honey and child did the wine country tour on bicycles, while I enjoyed the bus, the lovely food, and the tour guide’s history lessons and city discussions.  Joe was a great teacher at our first stop Domaine Chandon – the home of the finest of Champagnes.

The grounds, gardens, and vines are exquisite even on a rainy fall morning. This elegant facility also grows its own grapes.  I learned the difference between grades of wines and how champagne is priced and the correct way to consume and taste wine on the remaining three stops of the tour.

And I got an idea.

I knew just how I wanted to celebrate my 60th birthday in 2009. I started planning my year in detail at that very moment on my third glass of the bubbly.

I bought a case of my favorite taste and joined the champagne club.  12 lovely bottles of champagne arrived at my home and now 2 more would arrive each month until I said – enough!
Now I am asking you to join in the fun.

When one opens a bottle of champagne (which by the way I learned how to do correctly) there begins a celebration and an expectation – just like magic there is a rather joyous response from deep down inside.   I have given away the first 12 bottles in that case with the words:

“In 2009, I will be turning 60 years old and I want you to have this bottle of champagne to help me celebrate.  Even if you do not drink champagne, I am sure you will discover someone who has just a special moment in 2009 which needs a joyous, bubbly celebration of champagne to acknowledge – so pass it on.  I want you to assist me in radiating that joyous feeling all throughout the year to come”

I am hoping that each one of you will purchase a bottle of the bubbly and keep it on hand in 2009 for that celebration moment that is just right to pop the cork.

I am hoping that folks will comment on this post all throughout the year ahead and let me know just how they celebrated and passed on that joyous feeling. Will you help me participate?

I am thinking this will make for a boundless stream of joy – opened up to the universe – a round of celebration.  What do you think?

How did you celebrate your 60th birthday or how do you think you will celebrate that magical decade’s arrival?

How do you put joy out into the universe?

(You don’t drink alcoholic beverages?  That is okay too! Did you know that opening a brewed bottle of Ginger ale will give you the same joyous feeling and no alcohol?  – it has a sharp, clear taste from the Ginger used in making it – it is very healthy stuff for your body – and it is not just chemical imitation like soda pop)